September/October 2012 Archives - Shop Owner Magazine
Don’t Let Discounts Kill Your Business

The effects of the recent Great Recession have left many people with a sense of uncertainty over the economy. Perceived consumer attitude is pressuring some companies into lowering prices or offering discounts in order to attract new consumers or to maintain their customer base. I would urge all businesses to seriously consider and examine the effects of price reductions and discounting.

Let’s Clean Up

Let’s talk about cleanliness. I mean really clean, not just on the surface. Ever walk into a business that looked clean initially, but really wasn’t? You could just tell. The next thing you know you’re looking closer at the places under tables and chairs, and then it’s pretty obvious it’s not very clean at all.

25% Of Your Labor Rate

How much in monthly sales should you be able to generate per square foot of your auto repair shop? We’ve found that a good rule of thumb is 25% of your labor rate.

Setting Your Goals In 2013

When it comes to setting your long-term goals, the best advice I can give you is to make sure that they all align with your core beliefs and that they are challenging enough to inspire you. As the leader of your company, you are not only responsible for setting the goals, but it’s your job to inspire your entire team as well. I am sure you will agree that you can’t inspire others if you are not inspired yourself.

Creating Team Spirit In An Automotive Repair Shop

Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Clearly, one of the keys to success in building an auto repair shop is having your entire staff working together as a team. The question is, how do you create an environment that fosters team spirit?

Pam’s Motor City Automotive: Love For Cars Is The Foundation For A Successful, Female-Owned Repair Shop

Pam Oakes has always had a love for cars, a passion handed down through the generations of her family. In fact, she’s a fourth-generation technician; her father, grandfather and even great-grandfather came before her and taught her everything they knew.

Web University: Part 1

Beginning with this issue, we will answer shop owners’ questions about the most dynamic and increasingly important marketing channel, the Web. Whether it’s Google search, social media or what to do with Google+, you’ll find answers to the most challenging questions, in both a “Go Deep” and “Quick Bites” format. Questions submitted by shop owners will be answered by Uwe Kleinschmidt, CEO of AutoVitals, a leading supplier of web-based marketing and service advisor productivity tools.

Executive Interview: Ben Johnson, Director Of Product Management, Mitchell 1

Ben Johnson’s expertise in the automotive aftermarket industry began on the shop floor and grew through his career as he moved from owning his own auto repair center to his current position as Director of Product Management for Mitchell 1, a leading provider of Repair Information, Shop Management Software and CRM solutions to the Automotive Aftermarket. In between, he developed expertise in vehicle technology at Delphi as Director of Global Product Development for Service Tools and Educational Products, at the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) as a Project Manager, and in other leadership positions in product management and diagnostic platforms in the automotive industry.

Tips To Make Customers Feel Like A ‘King’

Excellent customer service is delivering a service experience that exceeds the customer’s expectation, while being remarkable at the same time. It’s easy to forget a so-so experience, even one that meets our needs. But it’s hard to forget when you receive top-flight service.

Autowerkes Maine: Unforgettable, Landmark Building Spells Unique

A little planning goes a long way, or, in the case of Voit Ritch, a lot of planning results in a new landmark building that can’t help but be noticed. To be exact, the all-new Autowerkes Maine in Freeport took two-plus years of planning and the help of staff and current customers to make the project all come together, culminating in a Grand Opening celebration on Aug. 25, 2012.

Vehicle-Specific Diagnostic Equipment: The Future Is Here

While reviewing our shop equipment needs for an upcoming move to a new location, we decided it was time to look at our diagnostic equipment to see what was new and decide if we needed to update it. Again. What we discovered made my day!

Conducting A Successful Focus Group

The research tool known as the Focus Group has been around for many years. The idea is to assemble a small group of individuals to discuss specific topics, view advertising concepts or, otherwise, offer their opinions.